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Dublin is a very walkable capital, you can easily get from A to B within the city center by strolling around. And because of this you do often bump into people you know, stopping for a chinwag quickly becomes a daily occurrence.

But every now and them something odd happens, people who seem to know you and who you kinda, sorta recognize, greet you with big smile and a loud “How ‘re ya?” “Lovely to see you!” or the very Dublin-esque:“What’s the story?” And as you struggle to place their face, knowing you’ll never guess their names, they are very sure about knowing you, even knowing your name.

And just this happened twice to me yesterday, the first was a friendly looking guy, who asked me what I had been up to as he hadn’t seen me for a while. I did sorta, kinda recognize him, just couldn’t quite place him. But after a few hours of rummaging in the recesses of my brain, I figured out that he is the manager of a cafe I sometimes go to.

The sense of relief I felt, when I had finally figured it out, was unbelievable, doubting ones own sanity is really a terrible sensation. But then it happened again.

I was just crossing the road when a stranger, who sorta, kinda, looked familiar greeted me with the exuberance of a long, lost relative. And as he merrily chatted away I couldn’t help but feel at complete and utter loss. Who was this friendly stranger who, was so delighted to run into me?

Hours later and I still don’t know who this person was, nor have I even got the faintest of notions from where I could possibly know him from. But then, who knows, maybe he just thought he knew me and we both had a perfectly pleasant conversation with a stranger we don’t know.

We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.

 Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

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